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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Integrating things

A friend asked me how I got the Little One to sing songs and pronounce them accurately.

It was possible only by breaking it to word level, sometimes to sub word level and then putting it all together one sentence at a time.

All complex things can be broken down to simpler items.

The ability to make something complex out of simple things and the ability to understand and troubleshoot a complex entity/problem by breaking it to simpler parts is a skill set you develop (or have to develop) if you have kids.

When dealing with scientific things or logical things, it purely is an exercise in

a. right questioning and answering
b. data driven decision making
c. nomenclature or terminology used to explain things

Then you end up with things neither scientific nor logical with an audience that is very challenging (say the little one and Jr.) and all your experience as a student, teacher, integration dude, etc. is not enough!

We are talking now about the heaven phone (which was misquoted by Jr. as the Hanuman phone) that is used to call "Kollu thatha"(great grandpa) who is no longer with us.

Unable to handle the situation myself at that time of his death, I made the mistake of telling the little one that the only way to talk to Thatha now is to call him on the "heaven" phone and it is very expensive to even reach the phone which is somewhere on top of the Himalaya mountains and even after we reach the phone, there is a very long line of kids waiting to call their Thatha's and Paati's and it is also very expensive to make that call because longer the distance you call, more expensive it gets.

The little one promptly cut through my logic with many razor sharp questions like "if it is that far away and thatha already wears thick glasses, how can he be watching us? how will he know how to help us if we pray to him in times of trouble like you told us to do?" etc. etc.

Based on the experience of creating a bunch of statements in trying to bridge the gap between what is known and what is unknown, and trying to explain things to the little one, a small book can be published on the "do's and dont's" in communicating with children under the age of 5 on the topic of death, afterlife, etc.

The best line from her was "so now that thatha is in the ocean, he will come out when we go to the beach? It is all the same ocean right?"

Got visions of my Thatha's dissolving bone fragments in the Bay of Bengal, then reassembling the fragments and him reappearing in Half moon bay and walking out of the ocean, Terminator style!

It is hilarious and sad at the same time to see how Jr. corrects the little one with her knowledge of heaven.

Don't have the guts to break things in a harsh way to the kids. Who am I to decide if heaven is a bad place or not, what amenities are available, if you can still read without your glasses and walk without your walking stick etc. etc.

Since no one who has actually made it to heaven is going to writing us any books, maybe, I will write that book someday! Of course it will be all made up..



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2 Comments:

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:45 PM, Blogger Sivajini wrote...

lol- you just had to make a post that is going to be way beyond your kid's reading comprehension scope didn't ya :P

Yea it makes sense that you broke it down, because after the Super singer phenomenon I've heard lots of kids here in the West sing songs and although I applaud them for their efforts pronounciation isn't exactly up to par. But your kids- Super!

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:21 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

thanks. appo appo that accent will show up and it is cute.

we have taught them to know when to use the accent and when not to.

:)

they were deliberately singing Naasamudan kalandha.. instead of Nesamudan kalandha..

had to teach them that Naasam is destruction and Nesam is friendship.

now they do it intentionally to piss me off..

 

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